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Positive Enterprise Value Blog Unlocking The Potential In Others…Meet Kyle Reagan
Unlocking The Potential In Others…Meet Kyle Reagan

Unlocking The Potential In Others…Meet Kyle Reagan

March 20, 2024

1 hour and 15-minute listen

Nashua, New Hampshire

Have you ever noticed how some private enterprises successfully transition through evolutions and revolutions in leadership, even ownership? Some end up with terrific new majority partners, with the Entrepreneur Owner-Managers (EOMs) moving gracefully into the next interesting and rewarding chapter of their lives, surrounded by friends, their positive legacy assured, and their independence powered by the fortune they just realized, while for others their outcomes can look more like a train wreck.  Is it luck or is it more than luck?  At Bigelow, we think it's more than luck.

For over 30 years, I've had the fun of meeting with thousands of seasoned, successful private business owners and working closely with hundreds of them. In this podcast, I interview some of the most high-performing successful EOMs from both the for profit, and the not-for-profit domains. On this episode I interviewed Kyle Reagan who is the Chairman and CEO of DECCO, Inc., a mechanical contractor that specializes in the most complex capital projects for the pharmaceutical industry. Kyle came from a working-class background.  He was a great high school baseball player and in fact got drafted. He played for both the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves as a catcher. When he transitioned out of the professional baseball world, he realized that he really wanted to work with people in an environment where he could help them unlock their potential, particularly people who didn't have much.  Thus, he began work at a company called DECCO as a Project Engineer. The former owner of DECCO had a succession plan and Kyle found himself a part of it.

With Kyle now part of the leadership team, the business grew and transformed from being basically a company that provided complex mechanical piping and electrical solutions for semiconductor manufacturers to one where Kyle began to guide the strategy and pivot towards pharmaceutical manufacturers, all the while staying true to his lifelong focus of unlocking the potential in others. Kyle views part of his role as a facilitator to helping even the most junior workers at DECCO begin to have a life where they could feel appreciated and valued in their work life, which would spill over into their personal life. Kyle's work with DECCO has recently culminated in its acquisition by Comfort Systems, a strategic public investor where DECCO is now a wholly owned subsidiary. I had the fun of interviewing Kyle in his offices in January 2024.  I hope you gain some learning from it and enjoy it just as much I did.

Listen below or on Soundcloud here.

What I am Reading / Listening to

Masters of the Air (2024)
Based on the book Masters of the Air by Donald L. Miller
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, Dee Rees, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, and Tim Van Patten
Executive producers Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg
Apple TV+ original, limited 9-episode series

Masters of the Air is nominally about the story of the 100th Bomb Group, a highly decorated B-17 Flying Fortress group based at Thorpe-Abbot air base in England during World War II. Created by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzmann, it is their third collaboration on the heels of The Pacific, and Band of Brothers.

Masters of the Air is a very nuanced story about the startup of the group (the 100th Bomb Group) and its intention to execute on daylight low altitude precision bombing which was intended to destroy the enemy Nazi war machine with the least number of civilian casualties. This strategy was just the opposite of that used by most allies (e.g., Brits) who after the Blitz, determined to do only high altitude nighttime bombing which was much safer for the bomb crews (since the enemy anti-aircraft batteries couldn’t see them naturally).

This is a story which heretofore hasn’t been well known. The series illustrates the jittery startup of the Group, the devastating casualties (each B-17 Flying Fortress had a crew of 12 and they frequently had a casualty rate of over 50% per raid). It develops a few characters in depth, including Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal, John “Bucky” Egan, and Gale “Buck” Kleven. I wish they’d have invested more time in developing more characters since lots of times that’s really the story behind the story.

So, interesting, good learning, inspirational. By god we owe a debt of gratitude to these boys (literally) who looked evil in the eye and never winced—they embody the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. Very moving. Highly recommended.

Entrepreneur Owner-Manager Quote

"I believe the way toward mastery of any endeavor is to work toward simplicity; replace complex technology with knowledge. The more you know, the less you need. From my feeble attempts at simplifying my own life I’ve learned enough to know that should we have to, or choose to, live more simply, it won’t be an impoverished life but one richer in all the ways that really matter."

— Yvon Chouinard, Founder of outdoor clothing & gear retailer Patagonia, American rock climber, environmentalist, and philanthropist

Energy Creation

That "Great Minds Think Alike" Myth
Reposted from George Casey, Vistage International Chair 

It’s said that “great minds think alike.”

If that were true, all the creative people would be creating the same things. 

Creatives achieve greatness by distinguishing themselves from others.  This comes from thinking, and equally important, living differently.  (If you doubt me, more than one aspiring tech entrepreneur copied Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck without duplicating his achievements.)

A post from Visual Capitalist summarizes research about how the daily routines of famous creatives (mostly artists and writers) differ in the time they committed to sleeping, eating, doing creative work, exercise etc.; in short, how they spent their day. 

You may not have achieved the greatness that these icons enjoyed, but you do have one thing in common with them:  you have 24 hours in the day.

What are you doing with your 24 hours?  Daily Routines of Famous Creative People will show you what the greats did with theirs.

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